Workers Strike After Compatriot's Suicide

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Sep 2 2013

A 22-year-old Nepalese worker was found dead in his room in Bahrain after hanging himself in the industrial area of Sitra on August 23. On the date of his suicide, he was too ill and exhausted to attend work. According to a roommate, the deceased had requested his company to send him to the hospital as he had experience nose-bleeding for an abnormal period of time. The company ignored his requests for treatment, and one friend claims the company responds to most health complaints by giving workers pain-killers.

Triggered by their colleague's suicide, tens of Asian workers of the same company held a strike to object to their living conditions and mistreatment. One of the workers said he thinks his friend committed suicide because of their poor living and working conditions they live in; 700 workers crowded in 35 rooms, with eight or more individuals per room. Workers have no access to a grocery store and the company deducts wages for provided meals.
The workers are also denied days off when they fall sick.

He also claims they earned only 80 Bahraini dinars a month ($210 USD), despite promises for higher salaries.

According to Al-Ayam's report, the company's security guards blocked workers from speaking with journalists and prevented photographers from taking pictures of the strike. One journalist was reportedly attacked when attempting to speak to workers.  

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